Stay Smart About Smartphone PrivacyEmail This
Service providers are not always upfront about the type of data that they are collecting, but we know, at the very least, that they're able to monitor:
- The numbers you call, the numbers you receive calls from, and the duration of those calls
- Incoming and outgoing text messages, and picture messages (yet another danger of "sexting"), and the numbers you send and receive those messages from
- How often you check your email or access the internet
- Your location
While this information can be extremely valuable in aiding law enforcement officials in the prosecution of dangerous criminals, it can also be useful to dangerous criminals, who have much to gain from hacking your personal information.
If you do any online shopping or banking from your phone, hackers may be able to access your financial data and steal your identity. Signing up for an identity theft protection plan like LifeLock can monitor your identity and alert you of potential dangers.
Even scarier, hackers can collect Geotags, collected from your phone's GPS or photos with location tags, to find out where you are and where you live!
As a smartphone user, your ability to protect this information may be limited, but there are a few things you can do to defend your data:
- Be cautious about storing information, such as photos, videos, passwords, financial data and your location in your phone.
- Set a strong password on your phone and do not allow your phone to store other passwords.
- Use a third-party service, such as MyPrivacy, which can help protect you by requesting removal of your personal information from people-search and database sites that sell it. You can even try it Free for 30 days* and see what information, if any, has been leaked.
- Contact your lawmakers and the FTC and share your ideas and opinions on how to ensure that consumers are given more choice when it comes to the privacy of their mobile data.
*To avoid being charged the recurring subscription fee, simply cancel before the free-trial period ends.